Gold Coast : Surfers Paradise (and the rest of Brisbane)

Finally I come to my last post for one of my favorite getaways in a long time!

We spent out last day in Gold Coast at the vicinity of Surfers Paradise before we got on the train home. Time passed super quickly and I was dreading the thought of going home. Everything about Gold Coast was great, except for the fact that residents seemed to be a little more racist than the friendly ones in Brisbane! Nevertheless, we still enjoyed being there while we were at it because the end of Gold Coast was marking the end of our Australia trip! We took a walk at the city in the morning and was all ready to get to the beach. We didn’t change into swimwears because the weather was half chilly and half warm – it was a vague borderline to decide if we would want to swim in the sea. Then again, I’m not a fan of walking into deep depths of water so I never brought any swimwear anyway.

We woke up to a moody Sze Ye – but Ginny still got all three of us to take photos in her onesies. The daughter of the owners of the house was delighted to see us wake up in the onesies so we were more than happy to prance around the house in them. She is four. For those who are questioning why were we in onesies – here’s a funny story.

We all brought our on PJs to wear during bedtime – but from the first night we realised that the homestay’s warm water had run out and it was FREEZING. The temperature in Gold Coast dropped to about 8 degrees (and worst, wind was strong) and because we had gotten back home late – the other people who stayed in the house had used up the quota for all the warm water! The heat storage was also getting cold cause of the sudden temperature drop. At the end we ended up having to shower in cold cold water. I think it was actually an acceptable temperature if the shower was taken in a Malaysian climate – but taking it in such a cold weather was horrible! I had my own PJs and although I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to put myself in a onesie (we were warned before the trip by Ginny) – oh my, were those onesies the saviour of the night! They were so warm and comfortable to sleep in, it was almost like they were an extra blanket.

The next morning I woke up to the high pitch squeals of the little girl because she was so excited to see little ‘animals’  the house. I was the last to wake up so when I did my final entrace she was so excited! Suddenly it felt like I was the star of the day pfft. Ginny wanted us to take some photos before we left (there probably wouldn’t be another day we would be caught in a onesie) so we did!

 

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Grumpy little Sze Ye from her horrible sleep the night before

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Our host family had a little dog at the backyard for us to play with. We wanted to put keep her in the house from the horrible cold the night before, but it wasn’t really our place to let animals in.

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Morphing into our real identities.

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After that, we cleaned up and headed straight for Surfer’s Paradise. Took the bus there – probably under 20 minutes.

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Tramway –  I have a thing for trams. Still amused by how its a train but also a bus at the same time.

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Arrived at Surfers Beach!

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Aaah – breath in breath out.  Clean beach clean sand.

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After that we got to get some good Austra…

Halfway typing that I realised I had a memory lapse and I don’t remember having any of the meals below. So we probably just went to have lunch somewhere nearby.

Oh wait, now I remember. We went to this place nearby that had really good value meal sets!

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Ginny had a prawn salad (just captioning as it is) but I remember it was quite good and prawns were fresh and chewy!

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I had a beef wrap. I think I remember it being a little dry but it didn’t matter – meat wraps in huge portions! Green light! Green light!

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 We didn’t spend too long in the city as we had to rush home

Ginny asked if the hosts would be able to give us a lift to the train station and they willingly said yes! I would definitely recommend staying in their house if you ever go to Gold Coast – best host and house ever. We made such good friends with their daughter (whom I have shamelessly forgotten what her name was) and the nearer we were to the station, she became more quiet and started to not say anything as we came close to saying goodbye. When we were at the station, she was so upset that we were leaving that she didn’t even want to get down the car to send us off.

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Sean was an amazing host!

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It was a fairly long ride so nobody was in our carriage for the first few stops

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And I was doing what I do best (yes I sleep with my eyes partly opened!)

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 Hungry hungry for food. We wanted big big portions so we decided that Asian was the way to go. Vietnamese it was.

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Hungry and sleepy Natalie always comes with smeared eyeliner.

After dinner we craved cheese so we had some nachos with cheese. We ordered the kids meal because it was the only simply dish with nachos and cheese. The rest had other toppings which costed a lot more.

(Okay honestly speaking, I don’t even know if this post is chronogically right – I’m just creating the story as we go pfft please forgive me girls)

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Satisfying the fatty aspects in us

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The next morning we decided to walk around the city as it was our last day in Brisbane! We went to places we’ve walked through the past days but it was our last day so we just wanted to use it to its fullest and go to corners of the city we haven’t been to before. We also went to the Farmers Market where they sell yum yum food and some other stuff you can use at home.

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At the end of our trip, Sze Ye was a pro Go Pro officer,

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At this point of the photo I realized I lost my scarf and i NEEDED to find it because I borrowed it from Omoni. So many things was going on my mind while taking the photo. “Did I wear it out today?” “How did it fall without me noticing” But of course, the photo comes first.

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It was a kids arts festival so there were so many activities going around

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We also went to the Farmers Market (honestly don’t remember before or after) and got a taste of some foreign bakeries.  I’ve always seen Benji from ItsJudysLife talk about Farmers Market and I remember thinking I wish I can get to see one of these. It’s kind of a like a wet market back home in KL but just a lot cleaner and organised?

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One was for about $5 – thats RM 15 for one little round doughnut. But I really wanted to eat it!

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 We sat down to finish our food like a local. Enjoying the Australian life (or pretending the live it)

After that we headed over to have a proper Australian brunch (what is brunch of not a proper Australian brunch!) because we never had any of those for the past week we were in Australia. But it was such a waste that we chose to go on this day because I was already half full from all the food at the Farmers Market. We had a lot of dough in our stomachs by the time we headed for brunch.

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Went to what was supposed to be one of the most famous brunch restaurants

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I was TOO full to finish brunch with a smile

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This was mine. Looks so small to me now that I’m blogging about it – but man it was huge for my appetite that day.

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L1000397Miss Ginny Yap giving her most layan smile that ever existed

We went back tired and prepare for the next early morning ride home. The next morning we woke at about 3AM to head out the bus station. Our van that was supposed to take us to the airport didn’t arrive till it was 20 past 5 so we were halfway panicking about if they were ever going to come. They did of course, and most of the passengers were Malaysians. We greeted each other by not greeting each other and just slept all the way to the airport.

And THAT marks the end of  my AUSTRALIAN trip!

Thanks Sze Ye for being such an amazing host, and would not have experienced Brisbane if ít wasn’t for you 😀

Gold Coast : Sea World – Being 1058′ ft High!

 

Good Morning!

It’s another new day in Gold Coast and we were headed for Sea World and the Q1 tower today. Took the bus as usual and while waiting for it to come we went on to a photo taking frenzy. That’s what happens when you travel with a group of girls 🙂

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We had the flare right behind us so we were experimenting on ways people do selfies. Heré’s the gun under the chin – but Sze Ye was too shy!

 

Arrived at the Q1 Tower quite quickly! (img cred : sunloverhols)

We paid for a whole day (two separate sessions). Tried using my student card but didn’t realize it had expired.  You could choose between the morning session or the evening session – depending on what you’d like to see. Prices don’t vary TOO much – and since we didn’t have anywhere to go for the evening we decided to just buy the packaged ticket so we could come back again after visiting Sea World. Came early in the morning because weather was clear and it was the best time to go up! We were sent up 77/78 floors high and I did NOT regret buying the tickets. It is admittedly one of the most beautiful sceneries I’ve seen from a tall building – you’ll see why in a bit!

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What is this!! My jaw literally dropped when I saw it – HOW CAN THE SEA BE SO CLEAN?!

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Trying to reenact my own expression

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So damn breathtaking!

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I took this photo through a glass – but weather was so damn clear and air was clean, this looks like I took it from an open balcony!

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The tower had WiFi for guests so we were all hogging onto it to post photos!

After spending about an hour here we headed straight to Sea World! Didn’t know what to expect but I think I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Mister Walrus to welcome us!

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There was also a place for us to look at penguins from down under (under water level) and also when they’re all resting above  at the bay.

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 I just captioned this as “Little Shark nyam nyam” – then I realised I never saw a shark out in the open like this pfft.

So anyway, little dolphin nyam nyam.

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The show!

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Got into the souvenir shops to get Sze Ye a hat because it was so hot!

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 Getting friendly with some starfish – we got to touch some gel like species that looked like a pot brush. Felt so weird.

 

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 Got in here so Ginny can register herself for her own diving activity. We both didn’t do it. For those who are interested, you probably have to sign up before walking in.

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 Flowers from Ginny’s camera. I think although I’m not so much of a flower person, I appreciate clean and white flower.

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Mr polar beat was up and getting his morning swim

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Spent a good 15 minutes just staring at it!

We left at about 5 probably, spent about 3-4 hours in the place. Wanted to grab a bite of the Fish and Chips and Sea World because it’s apparently really good – but we missed it! It was open when we first arrived . I guess its a heads up for those who wants to head thre.

A few hours after that, we headed back to the tower to catch the sunset!We were rushing – and it really felt like we barely made it! Phew. But yes we still got to walk around the platform for about 5 minutes before the sun started setting. There were alot more people during sunset than in the morning, and the worst part is everybody would be cluttered at one side of the 360 platform because that’s where the sun is setting!

I managed to grab a space (lost sight of the other two) so I took so many photos. It’s not the first time witnessing sunset, but looking at it from such a height and with such good view was pretty cool. I don’t need to do this again (my eyes hurt like beejeezuz staring right at it) but it was worth the money I suppose.

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The night skyline of Gold Coast T-T Rims of waves in gold – is that why its called Gold Coast?  Never ever saw such a beautiful sight-  not even the Shanghai Tower could beat this. Lights were just SO clear!

Right after that we got ourselves a platter to eat at the cafe (there’s no time limit – you hang as long as you want). One of the most filling platters I’ve had – I forgot how much this was, but I remember it was well worth the price in Aussie dollars. Perfect to share among 3 girls – or just with another person with a good appetite. Seafood was fresh and chips were filling enough incase the seafood wasn’t enough.

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And that wrapped the end of the day!

Hopefully I get to do a wrap up of the trip by the next post!

Gold Coast : Dream World

Finally headed to Gold Coast for some beach and sunshine. It was supposedly “winter” but weather was still alright as the sun during daytime was pretty strong. We headed for Gold Coast by the train, after stressful efforts to make 9 trips in within Brisbane with the public transport, so we get the GC trip free. Apparently if you make 9 trips and above with the transportation card, public transport is free for the rest of the week. We arrived on a weekend so that all those trips were made in vain. Quickly topped up trips in within Brisbane just for this trip because tickets to Gold Coast was a little higher.

Woke up early in the morning and rushed to the train station. Sze Ye forgot her transportation pass so she had to rush back (3 minutes walk away from the station). We missed the first train anyway so we had another 30 minutes more to burn in the station. Finally got onto one – and voila, there was WiFi. Time to upload some photos from the day before.

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Grabbin some extra sleep while waiting for the train

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Everyone with sleepy faces and me appreciating WiFi.

We booked a room from one of the houses in AirBnB – it was an extremely good stay as the hosts were very friendly and accommodating! It wasn’t tough to find their place at all with the help of some GPS. Our bus station was about 7 minutes walk away from the place so I must say it was quite convenient for us to make our way in and out of the area. Neighborhood was quiet but not dead – as neighbors were just taking walks and dogs were just outside the houses for us to walk by and pet. Cars were speeding quite a bit I must say – but nothing too dangerous.

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Just like how I would love it! This IS the Australia I had in mind.

When we finally found the place – we were SO happy because it was such a clean house. We were provided towels, for both face and body and had a chocolate bar to boot. Bear in mind the place was the residence of our host, and they are actually living in the house themselves. Parents with two young daughters and one or two more who already moved out. They left the keys to us and went out of the house before we arrived. I had a minor shock – these people were so trusting. I cant imagine that happening to a Malaysian household. Leaving the keys under the mat for a stronger to walk in.

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Super clean bedroom 🙂 We could walk around the house as we like, but we mostly stayed in

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Had our own TV too, which is also why we didn’t need to walk out much except for when we need to use the bathroom. Also, milk bread and fruits were free to consume in our private refrigerator. We really felt at home.

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The family had a pool that we could use too, but weather didn’t allow the luxury of that. It was not freezing, but a few degrees below appropriate level to swim pfft.

After settling down, we all decided to get to Movie World before the day after so we could have more time to loiter around the city. Took some time to finally decide if we wanted to go because it was already 12 or so in the afternoon, just a few hours before Movie World would be closing – and it takes about an hour or so to travel our way to the place. Sze Ye decided to stay, so Ginny and I went on our own – promising to meet in the city for dinner. Sze Ye also bought tickets but we all got annual passes so it didn’t matter if she didn’t go anyway.

 

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 Paparazzi shot by Ginny – if I didn’t mess the timeline of my photos wrong. On the way to Movie World.

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Here we are!

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 Just realized we were polka dot synced!

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Welcome to Movie World – and I found my childhood friend Mr.Piggy from Looney Tunes!

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Saw the studio and was jumping at heart because I thought we could walk in it to see how they did all the animation. Turned out it was closed 🙁

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Walked around for quite a bit and back to the centre of the the place, only to find the areas being blocked by barricades and throngs of people seemed to be sitting down and waiting for something to happen. We didn’t hear of anything so both of us didn’t know what to expect. Asked around and apparently there was a parade happening! We made it just on time before it started – what luck. Most of the characters were out in their own signature vehicles 🙂

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I love Warner Bros! Such chilhood – my heart was beating quite fast. I felt like a fan girl in a Kpop concert. But not so much after this whole thing because I attempted taking a photo with Bugs Bunny – who then (hopefully) accidentally boobed me. Meow.

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Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you! 😀

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 We tried taking a photo of the train right behind us – I guess this was good enough.

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We went on the Spooky Coaster, which was probably the Scooby Dooby Doo ride. Totally unexpected ride that was. The line was filled with kids and parents –  we were holding bags and cameras so we thought this was definitely a safe ride with all those lugs. We were wrong. It started of quite and innocent, just another merry-go-round kind of ride along animated dim litted caves. The ride came to a pause at one point and the kids infront of me was already screaming. We knew something was going to come, but didn’t know what to expect!

Ginny’s bag was half open in between her legs so she was praying that it’s nothing too drastic. Suddenly, VOOM! We were sped backwards at super speed and before we could digest what was happening (in between grabbing all our stuff in between our legs), it was this huge open space area of all the separates speeding down rails from afar. Our rides were quite steep and cornerings were quite sharp. Somewhere in between one of us shouted “I THOUGHT THIS WAS A KIDS RIDE!!!”. Guess not. Half the time we were just worried about Ginny’s gadget bag that was half open cause the zipper malfunctioned under pressure.

After the ride we spend a good 10 minutes just trying to fix it. Or just Ginny actually. I was just – recharging from all that Scooby Doo shock.

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” I’m sure I can fix this! Give me some time!”

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 Batman time! (There wasn’t much to see)

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 I think she is sad because we couldn’t get in the studio. Was extremely excited when we saw it.

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If you’re into some Merry Go Round

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Saw this when we went in but right before we left I just knew I had to take this! Ginny was not a roller coaster kind of person cause she’s afraid of heights. So I made the ultimate decision to take it alone, just a little bit before they closed! We had to wait about 30-45 minutes so Ginny waited for me outside alone in the cold. So touched! But I must say, good thing I went on it – because I would be regretting it up till today otherwise. It was an extremely speedy ride, you could barely remember anything that happened. It shoots right out of the cave, I had a little bit of a spoiler as I was sitting next to a dad who was on the ride for the third time or something with his kids. Got through the long lines actually because I was a solo rider .

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Look at that steep drop!

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One of the areas that seemed pretty abandoned.

Looked like one of the places they could use to shoot movies, nothing was going on here – don’t know what the space was for. Not many walked pass the area too – but it was pretty to take some photos. Pictures would have looked a little more attractive if I edited the colours and contrast a bit to give the place some justice, but that’s really a lot of work guys.

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 Saying goodbye to the theme park. Sky was getting dark, and we had to run to catch our bus to meet Sze Ye in time back in the city

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The two ladies recommended that Korean food in Aussie was one of the best outside Korea. So we attempted to get some of these slurps – pretty good decision on a cold night. Weather was getting chillier and chillier!

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Some good jjigae to warm my tummy. Costs alot more to eat this here than back home – but I have to say it’s all worth it!

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All full and happy 😀 But definitely getting tired.

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 That’s all for today – goodnight everybody 🙂

Two Koalas In A Row!

The title says it all. Two koalas in a row – and it all happened so quickly!

On our third and fourth day in Brisbane, Ginny and I went to Lone Pine that was only about 20 minutes away from Sze Ye’s house by ourselves because Plain Jane had her assignment to finish up. It is apparently the worlds Largest Koala Sanctuary – but the largest, didn’t turn out to be too huge – at all. We still had to wake up early, but it was worth it because I love going to zoos. There’s just something about watching animals sleep, interact and eat that makes the world seem like its moving at a slower pace.

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We were there really early – probably about 9.30! Ginny already had the schedules in her head so we were just going straight for the shows. I got an annual pass and Ginny got her visitors pass that was only valid per day. I remember we were both quite surprised to see that the management was actually quite lenient. Visitors could just walk in without getting their passes checked – it was almost as if we didn’t need to get tickets. Australians must be so honest, because if this was back home – I’m sure there would have been so many trespassers! But people, don’t take advantage of the system – the tickets only cost AUD 33 for daily passes, and AUD 65 for yearly passes with unlimited entries. Sze Ye says they aren’t usually that lenient,  so don’t push your luck. Oh by the way, Lone Pine has WiFi. Hallelujah!

There was a Sheep Dog Show at 10.30 so we walked around the park abit, looking for a washroom. Walked pass some birds that were being fed their first meals. Wasn’t a good place to start of my animal visiting day, the flutter that they make with their wings gives me goosebumps. They were beautiful birds though, here a sneak peek of how they look like. It’s a good thing we didn’t come close (although Ginny was slightly disappointed)  because they came to visit US in Gold Coast! Not these birds of course, but the same lorikeet species. Will elaborate more on that later.

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Just before the show we walked towards the barn and came across some darlings. It was probably the kids area as children were allowed to pet and play with guinea pigs, pat the little donkeys and just feel the animals. I loved the part where the little flurry sheeps were all around us waiting for people to feed. I couldn’t feed them cause I was eating my own breakfast so all I did was watch the little ones feed. So fun to see families bringing their little toddlers and allowing them to touch them animals. Love it!

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The little goats here were just munching off the hay in the cup and this little boy was so happy he chuckled so much! Heart melt alert guys.

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 And this little doll – she was just staring at the sheep trying to feed them and then stopping again to stare. Got stopped by a Chinese couple who brought their grandchildren there and they were trying to get to the barn but didn’t know how. They couldn’t speak English too so we tried giving them a hand. Brought my back a little to my times in Beijing – long time no speak. Not rusty, but just missing it a little.

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 Meh meh time! I never understand how sheep dogs are trained – but still very cool to watch.

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All chased into a small area – not very sure of the objective of this.

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The sheep dog, that is SO loyal and obedient it was almost scary. It’s eyes ONLY looked at the owner with such a longing pair of eyes. It was almost as if it was saying “Give me LOVE! Give me ATTENTION!” This went on for probably another 15 minutes as we were all trying to get photos with it and the sheeps.

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That. Is a real gangstah sheep guys. See the dog staring into the eyes of the owner again.

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With Ginny this time.But look at the dog’s eyes fixated at this owner again!

Later we went on to look for some koalas to see and hug! The eucalyptus leaf scent was so strong, its like we knew we were near! Most of the koalas were awake – to my surprise, probably a great thing we were there early. After seeing them awake, I think it’s safe to say I think they look alot more adorable asleep and curled into a huge grey furball. If you actually observe them abit more, they actually look like really huge version of bear and rats. If that makes sense.

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It’s this little baby’s birthday and her mum brought her here to celebrate her birthday.

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First photo with a koala – and a cute little one.

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Ginny’s version looks alot more gentle!

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Moved on to a bird show later – where they fed the eagles small rats and flew by our heads. Not very pleasant for people with bird-phobia like me.

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This was a really cute bird to come by. So soft and gentle looking – but definitely not gentle in nature. We weren’t allowed to pat it.

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No idea what was going on here.

By the time we finished everything it was already about 12 in the afternoon so we hurried to the kangaroo area. It was my first time seeing kangaroos so I was quite excited! Even more than seeing the koalas. Ginny gave me some tips on what not to do before we walked in so I was so prepared. I prepared with some kangaroo food, and Ginny had her Go Pro. Yeap, well geared.

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 Pedo-Nat on the move. Just eavesdrop and sat infront of these kids looking at them patting the joey.

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Nom nom nom

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Oh yeah. This was the bossiest kangaroo in the house.

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Finally found a small framed kangaroo with her baby. We spent quite a while with her because Ginny says they would be more hungry than the others.

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Spent about 4 hours here – and wanted to spend so much more time here. Forgot why we had to rush back.

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 Got back home right after and chilled until dinner. It was getting a little too cold and I didn’t want to touch the bed cause we were dirty from being outside so the couch was the only option. Check out my company of the day – the fans. Was also waiting for Sze Ye to finish writing her paper so that we could finally celebrate her freedom!

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 Portable pillows everywhere. After Sze Ye was done we went out to get some dinner. Ginny looked up this restaurant Habitat. It’s apparently new and served really good food with great service.

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 Took us awhile to get here. But indeed the food was good.  Food in Australia is quite pricey, and for us to eat in a nice made up restaurant like this – we expected a burn in the hole of our pockets, but this place served pretty affordable food  for Australian standards.

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 Some really tasty beef cheeks. Both Sze Ye and I ordered the same dish, but it was the most appealing and seemed like the best value out of everything else. No regrets!

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 Keep girls full and they shall not be nasty! After dinner, we walked around the city looking for some chocolate to warm our tummies. The weather was getting chillier by the day and when dark falls, it really does quite cold. I was also getting hungry so we all stopped by Max Berner Chocolate Bar that was around town. Wanted to get some more tandoori sandwiches but was trying to save the money. Spend SO much on money the past few days, almost 80% of my money was spent on food and the rest on entrance fees.

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 Looking at old photos I kind of miss my long hair. But I hate how unhealthy it felt.

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Max Brenner suckao and hug mug. Something I’ve heard and see for the first time. For those who haven’t had this before, you put all the little chocolates into that cup to be melted, then you add milk and make it your own little DIY hot chocolate. Pretty interesting!

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 Ginny had dark chocolate, and Sze Ye had the milk

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Walking around streets of Brisbane, was pretty quiet – but just the way I like them Australian streets.

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 One thing I loved about the trip was that it was Go Pro friendly. We didn’t need to always try to get someone to help us take great photos like this. The only challenge was that one person out of the three, that was usually not me, had to pretend like we were prepared to take a photo – but in reality has her mind fully concentrated on clicking on the shutter button on the ipad that was synced.

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Sze Ye is slowly becoming a pro at this.

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Scenary that night. It was breezy and quite cold – but nothing to complain about 🙂

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Went home to prepare for the next day as we headed to walk around the city to have lunch, then to the Brisbane Botanic Garden. I think I remember dreading waking up this day. The city itself was okay – it was a change from all the nature we were getting. Sometimes I wonder. As much as I appreciate being around nature, beaches and whatnot – I do find a sense of belonging in cities with buildings and bustling traffic. I never noticed this until I made a trip to Shanghai last year while studying in China. Getting to Shanghai from Beijing was a breath of fresh air, and going back to Beijing – made my realise how much I actually appreciate ‘real cities’. As much as I hate to admit, I think I really am some sort of dependant to the facilities of a city and high rise buildings. However, with that being said – I still think I can adapt absolutely fine in somewhere like Australia, that has the best of both worlds.

So anyway the next day, which was the fourth day at Brisbane –  we headed straight for ARIA. It is apparently an award winning restaurant that serves you a true fine dining experience. Ginny also mentioned that it’s owned by a Masterchef judge, so we can expect really good quality food!

 

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Plain Jane doing prayers before food

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Fresh tuna that came for me as I ordered the set. Analyzing my food before I dig in. Then I REALISED.

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I don’t eat raw food! So I gave this to Ginny, who kindly exchanged her tasty dish below

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 Scallops with tangerine to match! I remember liking this dish alot. Scallops were well done 🙂

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Anyone interested to visit this restaurant during this visit can find it at 1 Eagle St, Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia. We were pretty happy with our food (we had more than the above, but I didn’t have the photo uploaded) except for the fact that Ginny’s ice cream that costed probably RM 50 was very crystalized. Nobody actually came too check if everything was okay and if food was alright, only until when we went to collect our jackets at the counter upon exit. I must say service was good, but not up to what it sets itself up to be.

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Took the subway on this day. Pretty similar to what we have here in KL. How different can subways be anyway – if you know any please tell me 🙂

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They had a couple of shops we could find back home in KL, but best part about this place was FREE WIFI!

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One of the more peculiar buildings

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Walked pass this interesting corner of the city that marked flood levels. It must have been pretty bad. More than half of Ginny’s height!

Headed to the City Botanical Gardens after that. It was a very cold day, and it got even chillier by the hour. Good thing Ginny always carries an extra jacket in her brown bag (that fits EVERY thing) so Sze Ye got some good cover. The garden was pretty boring I must say. I didn’t know how to appreciate flowers enough to be excited about looking or smelling them. I did see some interesting plants, that looked like toilet brushes – should have taken a photo. Here are some photos from the walk.

 

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Funny chair we found. I wonder who walks by and goes “Okay, lets spend a few hours chilling on this chair”.

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Clearly not a photo taken by me. But I thought this was a cute photo of the little duck

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Fake bats that I really thought was real for a split second. Bats playing guitars – funny. Ngeh.

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Ducks being fed bread by two people – they offered us some to feed but we didn’t. Forgot why!

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While waking we decided to chill by the cafe abit. I knocked out in a few minutes.

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Super good photo in my opinion by Ginny! The colours are SO soothing!

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Pretty coloured flowers I must say. I imagined myself to be in a fairytale and put on on my ear. It fell off 5 seconds later. It was a sweet relationship and memory.

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This was Mount Coo-Tha, a very famous lookout point in Brisbane that overlooks the city. We were pretty lost in the huge garden at this point and just wanted to sit down somewhere for abit. Sze Ye and I was engaged in quite a conversation here I remember so we just sat down  while she tried braiding my hair. It was a good 5 minutes rest until our mamasan Ginny called for us to go explore and walk more. This whole place was HUGE. After some research, the internet tells me that the City Botanical Gardens is 52 hectores huge!

Heading home, we found a spot that was perfect to take photos. We spent a good 10 minutes just taking several photos. Girls being girls, we really take these things quite seriously and its most comfortable doing it when we all understand the importance of getting just ONE good shot. I took the first session, Sze Ye then thought it was quite cool so she popped in, then we put Ginny in as well cause she was always taking photos of us! See which do you like best?

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Natalie Chai photographed by Ginny Yap.

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Sze Ye photographed by Ginny Yap

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Ginny Yap photographed by Sze Ye

 

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Took a bus waiting selfie before we headed back home!

And that wrapped up our fourth day in Brisbane. Pretty laid  back trip I must say – minus the early waking up (yes I must stress this every time!)

Finally In Australia!

Note : Picture heavy post. Of my face. My friends’. And my face. Yeah. 

I’ve always thought about going to this place so many of my friends call their second home. Their photos all look absolutely beautiful, even of those that are casually sitting by the corner of a cafe. It’s a kind of atmosphere that’s so calming you don’t find easy to see here in KL. Maybe it’s a “the grass is greener on the other side” mentality, I don’t know. I have a couple of friends spread all over Australia, but this time we decided to visit Brisbane first. Sze Ye is located in Brisbane, and she was going to leave the place in a year (leaving no one else there) and it only made sense to visit places that we were going to ‘run out of friends’ first!

Ginny texted me about free air fares probably two to three months before but I didn’t want to decide on it so quickly. I always like to have a little bit of extra time to let the idea sink, then when I  decide that I want to go, I still need a bit more time to actually tell myself IM ACTUALLY GOING!

Had about another 2 months before we left for Gold Coast (there isn’t a direct flight to Brisbane) so that was a good sink-in time. You can tell that I’m not up for a lot of spontaneous opportunities and is quite rigid that way – but our friend Ginny here is usually very chill so she’s up for whatever. That’s why she let me set the date of whenever I felt most comfortable leaving!

We talked to Sze Ye (who was an absolute dearie, she sent me a long list of cost breakdowns and top few reasons of why I should go to Brisbane!). We decided to go right before winter comes because both Ginny and I ABSOLUTELY  resent cold weather – we’re just not made for it. And here we go, its a combined post for Day 1 and 2 so it may be abit long!

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That’s Ginny and her Care Bear. We were running a little late and I was very gancheong because Miss Ginny was very chilled eating her dinner when it was about 30 minutes to our boarding time! I always like to check in super early so it gives me a sense of relief so I was quite terrified pfft. We were very lucky however! A buggy that picked up an old woman offered us a ride down the long walkway towards the boarding area from the immigration check in. We zoomed to the departure lounge in no time!

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Ginny thinks I’m quite aunty for requesting the officer to tape my bag multiple times! What do you all think? It’s so safe and it gives you a sense of security, no? At least you know if somebody has tampered with your bag or slip it open to put in drugs pfft.

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Ginny almost prepared everything before we went so she booked Link Transfers to come get us. Service was really good, their schedules apparently follow your airplanes punctuality so you don’t have to worry about missing the bus. They sent us from Gold Coast to Brisbane – and some even had a door to door service, depending on where you stay at the area you were headed to. I think this costed us about 70 AUS.

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My first glimpse of the famous blue skies in Australia

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The van that came to fetch us was really huge, look at how high the top of the car was. 2 hour ride on this was definitely alot more comfortable than my ride on the plane. Did I mention that there were bawling kids – I could barely sleep.

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Just look at my mata sepet and pale face. Ginny did a great job curling into a ball and she could get some hours off the clock.

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We then arrived in Sze Ye’s place. She cooked some warm porridge for us and it was the best welcoming comfort food ever. Missing it already! We rested for abit and headed out in an hour or so.

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Taking the buses in Brissy for the first time. Pretty similiar to our transportation services here in KL I would say. Sze Ye looking very happy here as she brings us to  City Botanical Garden. My first park experience in Australia – was very very excited!

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Be prepared for alot of more of selfies!

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Happy girls on green green grass.

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Took this photo from somewhere – I think saturation is very high so the colour is quite off.

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Three of us – defined by our shoes.

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There was a perfect flare for us to take photos with. It was the first time Sze Ye knew about flares so she was very excited to take nice photos with it.

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Working in our Go Pro skills for the first time

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We found it especially useful. Tried to do a set of photos inspired by Fault In Our Stars then we just didn’t know why it didn’t look as dreamy. Ginny went home and told me the next day it is most probably because our hair was all right under our heads and not spread out like how the posters are. Lesson of the day : Hair makes a vast difference in the atmosphere of your photos.

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Later at night we headed over to San Churros to try out some famous chocolate and churros. Sze Ye was raving over how good their warm chocolate was so we ended up here. Ginny and I love churros (the same kind) so we were hoping that San Churros served it. Ended up being the kind of churros that they typically sell at churros places that tastes like fried flour. We love theme park churros and places should definitely offer it!

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Did not end up going gaga over the stuff there – but it was great to have at least tried it!

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Waiting for the bus in the cold is not the best and most enjoyable things to do – but its our first day, we are happy for all things.  We were heading to Eat Street Market for some yummy food! Sze Ye told us that it was going to a place with loads of food but I imagined it to be a food court. Turned out like a very clean market place that served food from all over the world. Food was extremely yummy but expensive if we kept converting. After the second day I just decided to stop converting. Since I wasn’t a shopper, I decided that my money should all go to the yummy food I’ll probably never get to eat in KL.

You can enter Eat Street Market (Remora Rd, Eagle Farm) by paying 2 AUS Dollars for entry and find the food of your liking! The was even a Malaysian store – but I did not get that of course. Some shops sell candles and whatnot, but 95% of the shops are food, food and FOOD!

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The calamari store’s line was SO long – we just had to try it although it was about AUD 10. That’s slightly more than RM 30 guys.

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The taste was worth the wait (but not the money).

Then again, we can’t just convert. That was the standard price for almost all kinds of food there.

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Yummy! Bought my huge sandwich for AUD 11 or so, with extra cheese. It was SO good. Love meat sandwiches.

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Ginny and Sze Ye were getting some cannolli. There was a store called Jake and Elle around the corner so we sat down at the table infront of it after getting some and started munching away on my food. After sitting for abit, Sze Ye kept mentioning about how the guy at the counter looked extremely familiar and she was pretty sure that she knew who he was. I was thinking maybe it’s just  someone from her university. Quite cute I would say.

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Suddenly when we almost finished, Sze Ye went “Oh my god. I think he’s the guy from the cooking show! Masterchef or something?. A lady who was sharing the table then commented and said he was from a famous TV show called My Kitchen Rules. Everybody on the table was doing a little fangirl moment (although I didn’t know what the show as about) because Ginny recalled shortly after. Here you can see Sze Ye googling about him to check if its who she really thinks it was. Voila – surprise surprise! It turned out to be her favorite contestants out of the whole series – how could she forget! Silly silly Jane.

After spending about two hours in the place we headed back home. Chose to take the ferry cause the walk was a little far (but not like ferry helped anyway). We missed the ferry and it left right when we were about 30 seconds away and could actually see it.

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Reviewing all the photos from the day. Ginny alone brought over 4 cameras (that’s insane!!) so we usually take extremely long to look at them photos!

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View from the ferry deck of the Brisbane city.

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And am wrapping up the photos from this day with a photo of Sze Ye playing with a kendama  I brought over to play with! She’s so good at it – getting the first cups in a few minutes. That joy we all share when we land our first cup.

The next day we woke up at 9AM (Brisbane is two hours ahead of KL time) and visited the Sze Ye’s uni, the University of Queensland that was a 15 minutes ride away from her home. She left for classes even earlier in the morning so it was Ginny and my first time on the bus without having Sze Ye prompt us on where to get down. It was quite worrying at first because the buses there didn’t have any prior announcements as to which station it was gonna be. Good thing we got it right, it was the last stop anyway.

It was exactly how I’d imagine the place to look like – but maybe that’s also slightly because we had previews of it’d look like. Sze Ye sent some photos before we went over and said “You guys will be here!” “This is how the place will look like!” “Are you guys excited to come HERE?”. #salesnumberone

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We found a spot to sit down. The grass wasn’t very green and it was honestly a little muddy. You can even see it in the photos. Sze Ye picked out a spot that didn’t have animal poo so we were sorted out. She also made some sandwiches and bought some cookies in advance for us to bring over in the morning. Extremely great host!

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Quite a  nice spot under the tree, and there was wifi! Out of all places in Brisbane, the oddest place to have wifi!

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The birds came to us in no time. They didn’t come initially then Ginny the animal ambassador started feeding one and the flock of birds came. I don’t like birds and fishes so this was quite a traumatic experience. What was worst – the bird shat on Ginny! Birdie birdie – you cannot shit on the person who gives you food! No! No!

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Hungry and greedy birds disturbing my peace of mind

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When the birds came I THREW everything in the bag and fled.  The mission was the save all the food!

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 Took this accidentally while vlogging actually.

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Hello there Mr Tortoise/Turtle.

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Couldn’t sit down for a good 10-15 minutes – but here’s my attempt in being friendly. I tried.

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I did.

And because we were all dressed PICNIC themed (I had to borrow stuff from Ginny because nothing I had was girly or picnic-y enough), we took loads of photos. Clearly not going to post all of them here, but just a few random ones. Not even going to pick the nicest out of the whole lot cause we really took so many. Not sure if I mentioned this above, but Ginny brought a grand total of FOUR cameras and I had one. That’s LOADS of photos. I don’t even know if anyone goes through all these texts, but incase you do – you know.

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Before heading back after the short and maybe sweet picnic, Sze Ye brought us around to take a little stroll around the campus.  The thing about uni campuses overseas – they’re exceptionally huge compared to the normal ones in KL. And even if we do think of one that has a HUGE space, it’s not as laid back and relaxing as these campuses is designed to be. It’s just a totally different feeling. Small things, big feelings.

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Took this photo because there were alot of insects flying around it but because Ginny was busy taking photos of it saying the flies look like fairies I tried to take a photo too. But we obviously fail to see them “fairies”

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Happy Stone!

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Walked pass and asked Ginny to take a photo of our shadows. And she goes “For what?!”

I don’t know either. I just wanted to.

So that wraps up our tour around University of Queensland

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Hair’s a party here but I cut it right after I went back to KL. Meanwhile, #bustimeselfie.

Didn’t do much on our second day because we had the rest of the activities planned out for other days due to geographical convenience purposes. Stayed in quite a bit, also because our host had an assignment to rush. She had a long nap after our picnic (can’t recall if Ginny and I did too) and woke up and went straight to her assignment. Ginny and I then left for dinner at the mall across the road, which turned out be to quite yummy. At least we both liked what we ordered. Photos below!

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It’s called Harajuku Gyozo and their gyoza – oh boy, that cheese bacon gyoza – had me salivating.

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My little bowl of noodles – I was SO hungry that day. Feel like I could recall the exact feeling. Good thing food was good.

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Didn’t bring my laptop or ipad so every night I come back and just catch up on what’s been happening on the other side of the world.

And THAT – wraps up two of our eight/nine trip to Brisbane! It was a pretty long post but because I took so many photos I just want to share the less of the most of it with you. I don’t usually practice the habit of uploading it in Facebook because I personally don’t browse other people’s albums so I feel like nobody’s going to see it. So I’m just going to share them here, and if you see it you see it. Sorry the photo colours are so inconsistent and I couldn’t edit them all to fit one theme. Remember they’re all from different cameras so if you’re wondering which camera took what – I can pretty much tell you I don’t remember.

Alright now – time to sign out before I hit the sack! On a side note, I kind of miss my long hair now that I’m editing the post.

Goodnight everybody.

 

A Day at Legoland

Hello everyone!

I recently got back from a company trip to Legoland in Johor Bahru (a city in Malaysia) and Universal Studios in Singapore. Expenses were almost entirely sponsored by the company, so I came back as a really happy 23 year old. I’ve been meaning to step into Universal Studios since forever – but entrance fees was incredibly high for my comfort. I was thinking of finally going there with my family by next year, but since I was granted to opportunity – I guess I could go twice! I love theme parks, so I’m definitely not complaining.

When I first heard that we were going to Legoland before heading further down to Universal Studios (on a separate day of course), I frankly wasn’t very much interested. I’ve heard pretty bad reviews about it by peers (too hot, too expensive, too empty etc) so I wasn’t looking forward to it. Since it was all planned, I just followed with extremely low expectations of the place. I spent so much time in the souvenir shop that was located right at the entrance simply because I didn’t expect there to be too many things to look at anyway.

I was pretty much wrong.

Everything at Legoland had so much detail put into making each display. I wasn’t expecting a Malaysian based theme park to actually be so pretty. I personally grew up with Lego, and we all know how much effort it takes to really work up some masterpiece with those tiny little bricks. They had so many kinds of displays, and some had sound effects that sounded so real it kind of felt like it gave the Lego display a hint of life.

I was personally at awe being there. Frankly, the rides were a little unfit for adults to be on as they’re more designed for child-thrill. Alot of the rides including roller coasters were just okay, and didn’t exactly pursue the screaming factor when they built it. However, I could clearly see that the waterpark is cooking up amidst all the done work so I hope that would bring in more crowd for them. They definitely deserve more visitors for its work done.

I shared rooms with Jocelyn. We’re both dead logs when it comes to sleep. Even before we knew about the trip we already discussed about how both of us should NEVER get a room together because we’ll never wake up (alarms, fire alarms, shoutings etc). So finally when we both had to be in a room, we gave a key to Alexa to safe guard so she can come in and pour water on our faces if we really don’t wake up on time.  Good news is, we did! But we still had to eat our breakfast in vacuum mode.

Received our admission tickets right after breakfast before boarding the bus. I frankly don’t know how much it costs per entrance.

Waiting for our bus. Jocelyn and I were put in Bus 3 and it was always the last to come. So others always get 10-15 minute extra to get around the destination areas! Boo.

Considering that Legoland was also in Johor, where we stayed, the drive there was pretty long. I think Jocelyn and I (who I now self appoint as Royalties of Sleep) pretty much dozed off the whole travelling period which took up probably 30-45 minutes. Post breakfast sleep is sometimes very much irresistable.

We also brought Tube along, the KakaoTalk doll. He lost his mind even before entering and got some kids to illegally get him in. Good thing it was so convenient for Jo to bring him around because there was a hole in between his arms, she just tied him up on the sides of her bag. Stay there, naughty Tube!

He was very hungry.

Some of them Lego characters in the souvenir shop. All the vibrant colours hurts my eye abit writing this post.

Mini figure keychains on sale. They were a little pricey, but I guess as Lego’s, it is pretty much what many would call the ‘standard price’. There were loads of characters such as the Harry Potter, Ninja Turtles, Superman, The Hulk, Dark Vader etc. Warning : You might get a little cock eyed.

Say hello to Jocelyn! She doesn’t like taking photos but because I don’t like my photos to just be of sceneries all the time, she was my only victim! Smile, Jocelyn, smile! This chef talks too – I think he was saying something about bread pfft.

Tube getting a little rest with the snoring old man. He really snored. Please look at all the amazing details! I love this place.

We don’t trust Tube’s driving skills – but okay.

Here’s the beginning of our super exciting rides.

Jocelyn and I just stared at each other romantically during the ride.

I kid.

We also went on this ride that goes 360 sideways. There are button stations for the onlookers to press on that triggers a canon waterbomb from underneath the water to get the riders wet. We got on the ride waiting to get wet but I found myself almost pleading onlookers to press on the buttons.

But there was nobody. Meh.

Tube is a little naughty sometimes. He gets confused who his real friends are.

Said hello to one of the characters at the entrance of one of the rides. This was one of the better rides for adults, but I still saw 10-year old kids happily riding it with no fear pfft.

Well, Tube was a little scared.

Overlook of the entrance of The Dragon coaster ride.

Since Tube got a little shaky in his legs, we said he could sit down and read a fairytale. He fell asleep in two seconds, even before the second page.

I loved the interior design of The Dragon. I took this photo from the side after getting down. The introduction part of the ride reminded me of the E.T ride I took in Disneyland. Everything was so beautifully decorated. I really like effort and details and I give them 11 thumbs of for that (?)

We both then took a rest just a little before call time. Got one of the people there to take a photo but only this one came out clear! /facepalm

“Me wants drink too”

Sometimes Tube likes to role play too. We just choose to walk away.

Jo and I noticed this super chill ride while being on one of the roller coasters (Yes, WHILE riding the roller coaster pfft) so we decided that we HAD to get on this super cool horse.

Only to be rejected at the entrance. Only for kids. Hmph.

Okay, so we started doing adult stuff like sightseeing all around the world at Legoland.

We went to China

We found out Tube was a huge fan of Mao, he insisted a photo with him.

They made this rooftop section on top of the Suria KLCC mockup. I pressed on this button and each instrument popped up one by one  playing music! Very cool.

 

 

 

 

We met Lego, who has super skinny legs.

Someone recognised Tube halfway, so I had to tell them which angle was best to film and interview him from.

Halfway, Jocelyn couldn’t take it so she took over the camera.

We were running out of time  because it was only then we realised there were a few more areas we haven’t walked around yet but it was almost call time. Ran into a cop, dammit.

Bad time to run out of petrol.

Halfway getting to the leftover areas, we (seriously) bumped into Legoman earlier and for some reason it was running at thunder speed towards us! I was seriously so shocked I ran away screaming and then I ended up here pfft. He then went missing. Mysteries of Legoland, please don’t scare your visitors like that.

Jocelyn chillin with some firemen.

We had to get pass the security check at one point and got held back because they found some weird boxers in one of our luggages.

TUBE was also identified as a chicken. He’s a duck!

Met this guy with the super cool vest so I asked for a photo!


We were supposed to get back on the bus by 6, but we were already running late so we quicky had someone to randomly take a jump shot expecting it to fail real bad. But we got this!

Success!

And that was the end of Legoland 2013!

Old Summer Palace (圆明园)

Hello!

I now have faster internet, and will be alternating in between different image host sites. I still have to show you the (predictable) beauty of China, because there’s just so much more that I have yet to share! Today’s post will be on the Old Summer Palace, also known as Yuan Ming Yuan. The palace is just a street away from Tsinghua, where I studied, so my friends and I just cycled there. It was just a 15 minute ride from the dorm, pretty relaxing – except for the moments when we had to cross a huge intersection. I almost never bike outside campus because I can’t predict the Chinese traffic even after living there for nearly half a year.

I wanted to go to all the tourist landmarks before I left Beijing and this was definitely one of it. However, just to make the trip a little more interesting – the girls and I decided to make it a picnic trip instead of a tourist visit. We brought lots of food, we expected some of the boys to come as well but they almost never make planned activities. Too bad for them, but good for us because we got more food! SPARTAA!!


Had to park our bikes.

Saw a sign saying we had to pay just a couple of mao‘s, but was just thrilled out bikes had a private parking space. Bikes get too easily stolen here.

 

It was only 5 yuan for us with Student Cards to enter, normal tourist price was 10 yuan or 15 yuan I think.

 

Slowly unpacking.

Look at all the yummies for us! Super famous warm Chinese date cakes, Kimbabs, egg rolls, Japanese triangular rice thingies, salad, fruits, and we even had snacks that we were too full to even touch.

Trendiest Fashion in Summer : Exposed belly.

It was really nice to have a picnic here. The rest liked the Old Palace better than the New Summer Palace, simply because this was more of a chilld area – perfect for our picnic. I went to the New Summer Palace just a little before I left Beijing, so that one will be up – sometime soon. I think that place is also good for family outings, but there aren’t alot of shaded area for you to much your snacks on without sweating buckets.

The thing about China is that you are constantly gambling with luck when asking some other passerby to help you take photos of you and your friends. They almost never know how to take photos 🙁 I would be at the Great Wall, asking for a photo of myself. And when they finish taking it, I check and its a full shot of my face ONLY. No background to prove that I was at the Great Wall at all. I just don’t understand!

So we already knew that it would be a bet, but we thought we’d just never let the person go before we review the photo. We picked the youngest person possible, who seemed like he knew a thing or two about photography. Just basic photography. And he took one.

It came out like this.

Sometimes it not about the photography, it’s also about the sensitivity of the other people. They just don’t….get it.

So we got abit tensed and said ” Okay let’s just keep smiling so whenever he clicks it will look like its posed for”.

We just didnt know what to expect from the Chinese

(I’m Chinese, but as foreigners in China we always call the Chinese, Chinese)

Finally a perfect shot. This was one of the better passerby’s I’ve come across.

I just reformat my computer, so I don’t have any photo enhancing applications to beautify my photos. So this photo is extremely raw.

Still beautiful, isn’t it?

Every time I come to such spots (which is extremely common in China), I always imagine string instruments playing in the background. Very calming, albeit a little boring.

So we decided to take paths untaken, and went behind some bushes to find some secret trail. Obviously it is meant for tourists, but it was so hidden under the unmaintained bushes that nobody unadventurous or below 4o would bother finding it.

This man, owned it all.

He was just chilling on the boat, for a really long time, browsing on his phone. True fusion of new age and old age.

Foreigners a little OCD about dirty everythings, getting our hands washed in a random fast food store.

Also wanted to get some ice cream, but it was 15 kuai each – to which we all whailed in misery. We needed something cold to eat because it was scorching hot!! So I  got this instead.

Found some Koreans walking pass so I quickl harrassed them to take a photo for us. Count on the Koreans to take good photos.

WITH sceneries, or without.

I also had a performance there that day, and my fans were going crazy.

Calm down girls, you’ll have a piece of me. Later, later.

Sold out, in within 5 minutes of ticket release. Look at their happy faces.

Don’t you just love how the Chinese gu niang blends in with the flowers?

Was also excited because I thought we would actually be able to see the 12 Zodiac Animal Heads that the Europeans took from China. They are slowly being returned after being taken away during their colonial days, but I never got to see them. I think we got to see the one that were used in the Jackie Chan Film (Chinese Zodiac). Not enough to fullfill my excitement!

Everytime I walk pass these wind chimes I always wanna get them. But I won’t use them, and I hate that.

That is all about Summer Palace, short but took me more than an hour to write because I’m not used to using ImageShack. Photobucket is alot more convenient to take links from. Will be heading to Indonesia in a few hours, after a 5 hour sleep, for my cousin’s engagement ceremony. Borobudur, here I come!

Also very happy because I found a job, almost exactly a week after a touchdown. I just feel extremely blessed with the arrangements that has been laid down for me. I don’t know whats going to come up, but this may possibly my dream job – although nothing extravaganza. Hoping I can contribute to many in the future!

See you!

Xi An : 14 Hours to Teracottas, Speed Cabs, and Adventure.

Okay guys, I’m going to really realistic here. The more I push back my posts, the more they may just never happen. So skipping Yangshuo (but not forever), I will fastforward with a post of the most recent trip to Xi An. We were scheduled to sleep for a night, but had to do another emergency night because we missed the train (!!). Will talk about that later. For now, lets talk about all initial plans to Xi An.

Booked Xi An on quite a random note. We were just like “Let’s go somewhere – maybe Xi An”, then the trip became true. Initially I thought I’ve been to Xi An because its where the Teracotta armies are most famous for. I remember going to this place with the teracotta armies – but they turned out to be fakes, and I have actually NEVER been to Xi An. Lesson of the day : Never bring your kids travelling, and expecting them to remember anything years later.

We had the choice of choosing between sleepover rides and bullet train. I HAD to go for the sleepover rides, simply because I have never been on one. China sounds like the perfect place to get an adventure out of a sleepover ride. These trains are usually filled with locals so if you want to get a taste of China, this is it. We got the night train (naturally) and was only scheduled to arrive 14 hours later. Train departed at about 10PM and we arrived the next day at about 1PM.

Ultimately disappointed because I realised at the beginning of the trip, and sometimes in between, my photos were super blur because I had the camera’s settings screwed up. They look perfectly fine in the small screen, but when I enlarge them they are almost undistinguishable. Well, not THAT bad – but still pretty bad.

You’d have to show your tickets to enter the area!

Everybody going back. So many of them with sacks and sacks of unidentified stuff.

Our area!

Waking up to this at 5.30AM in the morning, because the Chinese are such earlybirds.

People just swinging here and there. And it smelt incredibly China. Only we know what that means.

This kind bunkmate told us so much about Xi An, including the places we have to go and such. Well, coming to China – I must be really lucky, because despite all the horror stories I’ve heard, I’ve really only been meeting kind people. They are really helpful when they can. This one borrowed Henry a charger when he saw him going around trying to find a plug. They could barely communicate!

He also told us to make sure to eat Piang Piang Mian (Noodles). We asked why – he said the character itself was special. And that was what made the noodle special. “How special?”, I asked. He looked up the character and showed me why:-

This is one of the MOST massive Chinese characters with 57 strokes.

And there is no simplified version. I promised that I would look out for it!

Yam Instant Noodles for breakfast. Er?

This lady came then night before so that she could keep our tickets in exchange for this card. Next morning, she comes back to wake us up to get down the train so nobody misses the stop. The train keeps on going to ChengDu! All four of us were awake a few hours before but went back to bed and only woke up when she came.

Henry, I, Marian and France.

20 yuan for a plate of rice! Caught this right before I got off the train.

Heading down, we were probably imagining a much developed Xi An upon arrival. However when we got off the train, the weather was extremely gloomy, and the train station reminded me so much of wet markets. Well, Xi An used to be the capital of China – so I was expecting a little bit of marbled floors and air condition to welcome tourists of the place. Maybe not.

Wet dirty floors to welcome us. Okay.

Argh, Beijing seldom rains – so coming to this was really upsetting. We were also supposed to be picked up by the hostel people (free service) but I guess we had a miscommunication – they don’t pick people up after 1PM. However, we called them and they had someone who could speak pretty good English. She thought us how to get on the bus and walk towards it. Pretty straightforward!

Bus ride was 1 yuan. So cheeky, Henry (who was obviously a foreigner) asked how much and he said 2 yuan!

This was our hostel – Han Tang Inn. Very nice and cosy place.  It was about RMB 60 per night as we took the bunk beds. Pretty cheap! Very clean as well too.

Walking pass another room that was being cleaned up by the fuwuyuan.

Our room, which was REALLY nice. But look at the quality of my photo 🙁

We were told not to walk on the floor with wet feet from the showers haha! Our legs were soaked from the rain and puddles so it didn’t make much of a difference. France came up with a brilliant idea to wrap our feet with plastic bags so at least our socks wouldn’t get soaked. So we started our Operation by asking for plastic bags from the receptionists (who seemed extremely puzzled why we needed so many)

After washing and prepping up our ‘shoe protectors’, we headed out for some food!

I was always on the lookout for “Piang Piang” noodles, and found a couple of them! Pretty satisfied. I love trying stuff that locals suggest, it gives you this satisfactory feeling as compared to finding something really delicious by yourself. We couldn’t find it first thing, but was already quite hungry. Our first tourist spot was the Muslim Street (yeap, that means no pork!) and came by this place where they sold beef noodles that smelt pretty good.

Man, I love this! It was sour and spicy beef noodles. Wasn’t too spicy too, just enough for taste. I forgot to take a photo if it but here’s one after I almost finished.

Apparently the garlics by the side are snacks that the locals eat while waiting for food. (??

These are supposed to be healthy drinks, but I’m not sure about China.

Spotted the Piang!

Xi An loves using these hugeeee pots!

Yau Char Kuay for the Chinese Muslims.

Another PIANG PIANG noodle!

We then headed for the Drum Tower. There were two towers, the other was the Bell Tower. Decided to just go for one since they were of the same height, but Drum tower is possibly more interesting. Just when we were about to go up, we decided not to go now and save it for later when its dark. Good thing we did! Because it was so much more beautiful at night!

So we headed for the City Walls of Xi An. It is largest ancient military defensive systems in the world, and the most complete one you can find in China. I read that these walls were intiially built with layers and layers of dirt, and lime with glutinous rice!! Then they started to rebuilt it with bricks and it is what it is right now after three different restorations. You can get on top of these walls from the main gates of every direction of the city. We didn’t really know how to get up, and wasn’t sure if we were allowed in because nobody was walking on it – probably because it was raining.

When we finally found the place after some bus rides and hazardous jaywalking, the place was still open but the super non enthusiastic counter receptionist told us that the main attractions are now closed and we wouldn’t be able to do anything much even if we bought a ticket in – so we didnt. Walked around the area feeling abit lost, we didn’t know what else to do. There was a Muslim museum back where we had our beef noodles but didn’t really feel like it. Was also a tad too early for Drum Towers. Looked at the map and found the local museum to be nearby so we headed towards it. Halfway, Marian and France came by shops where they were selling stamps that would have your name carved on it. We spent a good 30-45 minutes there waiting (and resting!) for it to be done while they waited for their stamps to be ready. It turned out to be REALLY nice, I wish I got one now. Only costed about RMB 75 I think, and we got free tea.

We casually mentioned that we wanted to go to a cafe while waiting for him to carve so he offered us fresh Chinese tea.

Finally it was time for Drum Tower!

From the tower you can oversee the whole city of Xi An, and its initial purpose was that the huge drum at the centre of the tower was beat at sunset to indicate the end of the day.There are drum shows in the day, but because we went a tad too late everyone already xia ban (got off work). We weren’t allowed to hit the drums on display – but we still did anyway. The drums all had super traditional Chinese writings painted on them, that signified the drums for different occasions. Very very special, some drums are even dated a few thousands of years back!

It was 35 yuan per entrance, but we got it half price as students with our student cards! Awesome.

Lovebirds

View from the stairways of the tower.

Definitely have to come here when the sky turns dark!

Such posers, you guys.

It was still raining but it didn’t break out spirits!

So pretty, but I heard the Drum tower was demolished and rebuilt numerous times.

After our first offiical touristic activity, we were hungry again. From the top of the tower I spotted this decent Piang Piang noodle restaurant, we charged ahead for dinner.

Piang Piang Noodles!

The reason why there called Piang Piang noodles, is that when the chefs make it – it makes this loud sound against the metal table. “Piang, piang, piang, piang”. Initially thought the sound comes from eating it, so we tried slurping it with different ways but obviously didnt’ work.

The next day, we went to the Terracota Army site.

But I’m going to leave this amazing post for the next post because it deserves its own limelight! We still had some time after the Terracota’s before our train at 5.30PM. The trip here was only about 45 minutes so we still had about 3 hours to travel around. Decided to go back up to the wall since it was a sunny day – and didn’t regret it! It was a short trip but worth it – given its history.

Good thing we came now! Not only we got yet another student price, we got it before they raised the price!

The Chinese officials always look like they hate their job. Well, they do get paid very little.

Way up to the huge walls.

From above the walls.

They also had buggy service for the people who were lazy, or can’t walk the whole thing.

We weren’t too greedy with lengths, cause we had a train to catch – so we did this! I almost NEVER succeed with jump shots.

The only one were I, kind of, succeeded.

Well we took about 20 of them, do you want to see all of it? Haha.

Time for the train!

We had about 1.5 hours left so we decided to leave the place, so we can get our KFC and eat on the train.

A lunchbox in the bullet train costs about RMB 45, only for rice and some shredded beef so we wanted to be very smart!

We took the oddest spot in the bus, it was just this little corner – nobody would’ve realised if they didn’t look harder.

France couldn’t sit cause he was too tall, so he had to go where the stairs were so he gets some head space. LOL.

Dodgy buses are fun, when you’re travelling.

This was probably the last moment when we smiled for the next few hours. Here’s why.

Halfway buying KFC, which was just right opposite the train station, – and being so delightful about how we had perfect timing, Henry had a quick look at the ticket and realised that the station was North! And we were buying KFC infront of the West station. We had about 40 minutes before our train leaves so we panicked!! Trains never wait for anybody and they usually leave early!

After getting the super slow KFC, we sped out asking for cabbies to take us to the train station. So many black cab drivers started to approach us – despite being in desperation we never bothered to take up their offer. Finally got a cab and hopped in. Demanded that he goes to the North station FAST – we only had 30 minutes before the train left. But when we asked how long would it take for us to get there – cabbie said “Approximately 30 minutes, what time’s your train?”

WHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT??

Frankly, I freaked out inside. This was a bullet train and I know they never give refunds, and it was quite an expensive ticket. I wasn’t willing to give up the hope of still catching the train. There were so many lights in between, and while we were sort of speeding there I had to Google up so many refunding option advice sites – but none of them appeared. Time checked every five minutes but the car just kept stopping, traffic light after traffic light. We told ourselves, “Train was at 5.50PM, so if we arrived at 4.47PM – we may still make it if we dash into the station”

By 5.45PM, we still couldn’t see signs of the station, and I used Iphone’s shitty map to locate how far we were from the station. It was right up ahead!!

5.46PM, we could see it but there was another traffic light. Man, 3 minutes – we MIGHT just make it. It was RIGHT infront of us. Henry had his RMB 100 note ready (the driver asked for a lum sum, advantage takers) and threw it at the driver while we literally jumped off a moving car when we arrived at the station.

It was 5.48PM.

I prayed so hard inside. We only had two minutes. God never gave me a pair of legs that could run – I knew I was never going to make it. Henry and France can obviously run, and Marian was always very athletic. France took my bag and I was free to run as fast as I could. Halfway running towards our departing lounge, I’m sure it was only 5:49PM – we heard the announcement.

“Bullet train leaving for Beijing, is now departing”

I scanned through all entrances while running (at a normal person’s jogging speed), and realised the attendees were all gone and gates were all closed. The janitor knew at one glance that we were rushing for the Beijing train – shouted at us to not bother, because the train has already left. We still had that small tint of hope that it may just be there.

I slowly stopped running, whereas the others were already far ahead trying to hold up the gates. And knew what was happening to us.

We missed the train.

Few hundreds yuan worth. Man!!

Anyway, instead of just crawling up a corner we decided to head towards the ticketing counter. May just be tough luck, since tickets never get refunded if the train has left. We were in such a rush, the escalator going down to where the ticketing office was shut down and blocked. There wasn’t any nearby stairway for us to head down. Semi angry and disappointed us just pushed the stands blocking the escalators aside and stormed down the escalators. The officers who saw us were shouting at us from afar but we knew the later we were, the less chances of getting refunded.

When we at the ticketing office, I (kind of) swirved right infront of everyone (It’s China) and requested for a refund. Told the counter that the entrances closed even before 5:50PM so it’s definitely not our fault. She looked at us for abit, and checked the time. Probably only 3-4 minutes after departure time, so she bought our story and gave us a refund – FOR FREE!!

It was scheduled to leave at 7.50AM next morning, a little more than 12 hours from then. I thanked God endless amount of times. I always knew I was blessed, but never this blessed! This was more than plain luck. KFC burgers were still in our hands – and it nearly became the most expensive KFC set we would have ever eaten. We found a seat nearby, that had absolutely NOBODY.

We sat down.

Opened up our burger boxes, caught our breathes.

And laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

Much later, after a satisfying calming meal – we had to decide what to do now. The trip back to the city where we were would cost us another RMB 100. Marian and I were all up for just spending the rest of the day in the train station, it was clean – plus it’ll be another experience and story to tell. However, the boys were strongly against it – wanted a comfortable place to sleep at. So funny, how the preferences of both genders have become.

After some persuasion, we decided “Okay, you guys can look up hostels – and if there are any cheap ones we should go“.

And took photos to remember this silly moment.

 Look at France looking up for hostels on his phone.


The boys were not impressed that we wanted to stayover.

They never found any, given the poor network and non existant Wifi available in the train station. So they gave up and agreed that sleeping over at the empty McDnonalds wasn’t such a bad idea afterall (pats them on back). France and Henry thought they would have to work their magic on the cashiers to get the private passwords to their Wifi if we were to stay the night – only to find out that the whole train station closes by 9PM. It was already about 7PM, and we only had two hours more.

This meant we HAD to get a hostel, and already wasted some hours just lazing around when we could have checked in a hostel and rest comfortably. Well, if we knew we had to check in somewhere – we should have done it early to make it valuable, right?

Look how tired we’ve become! My eyes look so extremely Pandafied.

Anyway, we still managed to find this really dodgy place to stay in in a building. There were cockroaches falling of the elevator and we were hoping for the best. But it turned out to be so clean and nice – look at my bed! Paid another RMB 60 for this, pretty good deal for such a nice place! We only had 8 hours to rest, and made sure to wake up first thing in the morning to catch the first subway to the train station.

And we managed to get on the train

Shanghai : Tian Zi Fang, Xin Tian Di & The Bund

Hello!

We only had about 3 days to Shanghai, so we had to cram many many things into one day. It was fun though, not too tiring and we saw most of the tourist destinations of the city. Frankly – I thought I wouldn’t like Shanghai because of what people were saying about it being too westernised. And it actually was – but I liked it. However, I don’t think I would love staying there – human traffic isn’t too bad but the atmosphere of the place had this cloud of intensity that the laid back (but sometimes annoying) Beijingers don’t usually have. For Day 1, we spent so much time in Mike’s house that we only headed out late evening. Still managed to get a couple of things done!

First we went to Tian Zhi Fang. TZF is “an arts and crafts enclave that has developed from a renovated residential area in the French Concession area of Shanghai”. Apparently they bring in trees from France and plant them there and lo and behold, French trees for a Chinese city. I love how the Chinese always tries to find a way to put the world into one place. We didn’t want to take the cab and miss out on Shanghai public transportation (also partly to save money pfft) so we took a 15 minutes walk from Mike’s place to the subway station.

We have been hearing about self service book rental machines but had yet to see one. While heading towards the subway station – we came by one and was so excited about it! We stood there for abit and someone can to use it. I recorded a video, but will probably upload it at the end of the Shanghai episode. Probably some of you have seen it – so convenient eh? You select your books as to how you would select your drink and it slides out. Technology!

Coming from Malaysia, I thought we had pretty brave pedestrians. Now, I’m so used to the no-traffic-rules traffic that I’m not even flinching infront of a bus heading towards me anymore. In China, at least. Here’s a photo of everyone just braving the street.

A ticket to Tian Zhi Fang costed about 4 yuan, I think. That is almost three times the price as to how much we would pay to get on the subway in Beijing. Later, we just figured that given the price – taking the cab is alot more convenient with so many of us to share the cab fee for.

Sweet Chinese little girls giving their babysitter a little rub. They heard us talking and was actually on their way back from an English class – so both sisters were daring each other to come speak to us. To their shock, we spoke Chinese!

Got the whole row of seats!

Before getting to Tian Zhi Fang, or Shanghai even – we were already eyeing to go to this toilet cafe. We have one in Kuala Lumpur, but there has been endless stream of bad reviews. Decided to try this one out called ‘More Than Toilet“. They basically have a toilet themed restaurant so everything comes in toilet related things – from the chairs, decorations, serving plates and even to the presentation of the food you eat. We had a look at the menu and decided to just get ice cream because we know how they’d serve it and it was good for photos (yeay for the girls!). The place is actually pretty cosy and would be a nice place to go to with friends with at least some good sense of humor. Price in the cafe was a little high for the servings and cafe standards, but it is a special place to go to at least once.

 

We then headed out to the Tian Zi Fang streets. The place is actually highly transformed residential place. In 2006, they demolished the place for redevelopment. Almost everything got bought over and transformed into a commercial area. Now Tian Zi Fang is an area with street after streets of food, themed shops, bars, restaurants and whatnot. The impression of this place was more of being modern in a traditional setting. You can still observe the electric cables, old lamps, chipped bricks along the small aisles.

However, there was one corner of the whole of Tian Zi Fang that remained as how it was just a few years back. I don’t remember exactly but I think Michael told me that this family refused to sell their house to the redevelopers. It’s just a little turn around the busy street and you can see the old way of living in TZF. I think its good that they were allowed to stay, at least tourists get to get a grasp of what was here before.

It’s just a 30-40 metre away from the crowd, but everything is so much mroe calm here. I love how their white dirty sinks are outside their houses. And when I peeked into the windows, I could really see how they were making use of the small space they had in the houses. Nobody spoke to anyone, people were just doing their own things. I guess they are used to people just peeking in taking photos.

Back to the ‘normal’ streets of Tian Zi Fang..

Their restaurants are pretty unique as they put these heater lamps that resemble street lamps just right next to the tables outdoors. Gives a pretty romantic and cosy feeling to it. Or maybe it’s because almost everyone eating outside were couples.

The French trees.

 Waited for awhile to get the street clear of cars so I get this shot!

 

After about an hour or two, we hopped on another cab heading to Xin Tian Di.

It was like the San Li Tun of Beijing, just prettier with more good restaurants! You can choose to come here with the Subway Line 10 or just take a cab like us. The one sad fact about behind all these beautiful lights, 3500 families were displaced for this redevelopment. China is serious about their redevelopment – of places, at least. As for the people in general, mindset redevelopment might take a while more for a better, modern China.

 Sneaked a photo from Shanghai Tang.

We also visited the Shikumen Open House Museum.

Shi  Ku Men literally translates to “Stone Gate” that gives us an idea of what upper-middle class Chinese family lived like in the mid 20s to 30s. Frankly, I expected it to be a a little bit more historical in terms of presentation but it really was just a straightforward look-see museum. There were several historical background briefs on the wall, but that was it. Entrance fee is RMB 20 but we paid RMB 10 since we were students, so those who have your student ID’s – bring it to China!

Heading out of the museum, you’d find yourself in a souvenir area.

 

Right after, we headed to The Bund. The only thing I remember about Shanghai when I was here about 10 years ago was the Shanghai tower. I remember being in the cold waiting for a light show to happen, and that was it. This time here, the place looks so different – I don’t remember seeing the architecture right opposite the river where the Shanghai tower was. Here’s also the thing about the Bund, it looks somewhat like europe and not China. Fun fact of the Bund, building heights are restricted in this area. Probably because the highest towers in Shanghai should all be in one centre of the place.

Our cabbies were next to each other, and we were all having so much fun that both cabbies didn’t move when the lights turned green. Cabbies had their own conversation, shouting across the windows. This was taken when they were being honked at so the driver had to rush ahead —- and took the wrong turning. Haha!

There were alot of people, but also because it was Qing Ming Festival so everyone was out to sight see.

Some photos are taken with my cellphone so they are super blur! But I want you all to see how crowded the place really was. My camera was running down (argh perfect timing) and I wanted to save it for when we may REALLY need to use it.

Walking across the streets to get up to one of the buildings!

Michael then suggested that we go to a rooftop bar, where the scenary would be so much better. We girls didn’t buy it at first so we spent alot of time at platform by the river taking photos. After that we headed to Building 18 or 19 of The Bund and boy, the view there was SO GOOD  – no human head pollution (lol) and the weather was so breezy and nice!

Elevator photo time!

Up, up to the bar.

Art seems to be a very prominent feature of this area, also probably because of the number of tourist the place attracts.

We arrived up at the bar in Building 18 or 19. See how there’s nobody behind me! This was the perfect place!

We just took a photo and left! HAHA!

Had to take a few more photos before I left

We got home after, to get food because it was getting late! Restaurants here at Xintiandi was quite expensive and we were also really quite tired. So we just called for delivery. Michael wanted to order one dish each to represent all of our respective motherlands but the place that he called ran out of Nasi Goreng (that was the closest to Malaysian the restaurant had!). This is what I love about China though, delivery is so widely used here. For any type of restaurant – cheap to expensive. I hope we had more of this culture in KL. We have delivery but alot of things are usually fastfood or usually no worth the price.

After dinner, Mei started working her magic with Jello’s. Wanted to make Jello shots but there weren’t any mini cups lying around Mike’s house so we just went for the medium sized cups. And had layers and layers of them – which I couldn’t finish cause I don’t really like Vodka. The jelly tasted good though!

 

Layer by layer, in the making!

Rainbow jelly for everybody!

 Michael was explaining to us how his father got the artist of that painting behind the wall to add more blue into the canvas WHILE it was being hung up because he felt like he really liked blue and wanted it at that point.

 We then called the night after some games 🙂 Very productive day indeed!

 

Address for More Than Toilet :- 

Tianzifang,
No. 5, Lane 274, Taikang Lu,
near Ruijin Er Lu
田子坊泰康路274弄5号,
近瑞金二路

Contact No : 5412 2821

 

Address for Shikumen Open House Museum:-

Lane 181, Taicang Lu,
near Madang Lu
太仓路181弄,近马当路

Contact No : 3307 0337

Alang Rawa Part 3: Candid Moments

Hello again!

Handed in three submissions this week so I am going to chill abit and do a little bit of blog maintenance.

Hope you guys aren’t bored of Alang Rawa yet, because I haven’t. It’s the final post from the getaway and has no content or chronological order (although I have tried to group day and night photos) and is mostly filled with photos I thought would be good to share. Many of them are candid and not posed for, which makes the photo more beautiful as it captured moments that we would have forgotten after a while. Most of them are from Ginny’s camera (that’s why only got photos of me pfft).

On the way to the island. A photo I think Ginny took because she thought my ear studs were of the same colour with the sea.

That’s Keegan being Ginny’s tongkat as she attempts to walk down from the rocks (I think?). Good Keegan, you have put yourself to good use pfft.

Thanks to Ginny’s timer controller we could take whole group photos. I would share the rest, but this was the best out of all. We were actually at the border at the sand cliff (is that what you call it pfft) so if you take one step back you fall right down from the ‘platform’ 90 degrees down. Most probably the waters shaped the area from its strong waves. But anyways, here a photo of Hsin Ye and Keegan accidentally slipping. Look at Piau’s expression!

We took a long series of Run-At-Beach photo but this really captured the moment.

Keegan’s winning photo for Model of the Year.

One of the failed attempts of selca. Ginny signalling the rest to quickly jump in the photo before the timer goes off. Well, three of us were already ready anyways.

Got Keegan (our faithful helper pfft) to help me take a series of Kungfu Wave photos. I took a few but I came home and realised Sean was behind ALL OF THEM! I wanted to stomp to Keegans house and grab him by the collar immediately pfft.

Failed attempt #2.

Our failed sandman….that turned to some weird shape. Look how Sean is frowning over it!

You want to know wahat you can do in Alang Rawa? You can play kite while lying down on the sand!

But be careful because if you get too relaxed the kite might just get caught in trees pfft.

Here’s Emo Kid. HsinYe and I caught him getting emotional while having some Alone Time. That’s all the sand he threw on top of the wall with this small palms. Can already imagine the amount of time this kiddo spent there throwing sand.

Nosey looking like Jumbo the Elephant. His ears just flies up every time the wind blows a little stronger than usual.

Playing Heart Attack improved version.

That’s me giving myself some “Sand Therapy”! The sand is actually quite cold, I keep finding myself trying to put them on top of my legs cause it’s so cooling!

Ginny who’s always on the phone, Hsin Ye eaves dropping on the conversation behind, Me wiping off sand caught in my eye, and Sean and Piau sharing and endearing moment feeding each other.

Emo Gin’s emo photos.

Keegan trying to make sure if I was taking a video. “YES IM TAKING A VIDEO, LOOK”.

Piau’s effort in making the dogs comfortable…and my effort in taking an artistic photo pfft.

I wanted to be Sexy Babe for once next to Piau thinking Ginny would take a photo of me as a whole. Mana tahu after I came back it’s just me in the photo. Sexy Babe Attempt fail.

Sean’s wondering “What is this thing she’s putting on me! But erm, okay” .

Ginny’s saying “Yes, you shall model for my stock nyahaha!”

Hsin Ye is a funny girl. She was so tired on the night before we went to bed but stayed up a little after I asked to play at least one round of game. Finally we all went to bed but ended up talking for about a little over an hour. Then the funniest thing happened. Just a few moments before that something funny occured, I realised this girl had her lenses on even when she was going to bed and thought how uncomfortable it might be. I asked her why she didn’t take them off but she just simply mumbled something that didn’t make sense so I didn’t think much about it. So here’s what happened a little bit after while we were in a deep conversation. Content of conversation is changed for privacy purposes but that’s not where the funny story is.

Nat : Yeah, so thats why. 

Hsin Ye : Yeah, but sometimes I think that when we go to restaurants we have to really take care of the things aro….  (covers eyes with hands with a frown).

Nat : (Yikes, there goes her eye pain. Must be the lenses) What’s wrong? Eyes hurt?

Hsin Ye : (continues frowning)

This happens for about 10 seconds while I wait for her pain to settle down or see if she needs to wake up to clean it or anything. Sand there can be so fine you wouldn’t realise they’re there unless your eyeballs roll it to where it bothers.

Then it hit me.

Nat : (Omg, is she asleeep?) 

I pounced up from the bed at stared at her from right above her face. It was so awkward so I just had to pop the question.

Nat : Are you asleep???

Hsin Ye : ………………………………………………….

Just before I was going to fall back in disbelief because I kind of think she really fell asleep, she suddenly opened her eyes. What she had to say next really made me feel like I was going to faint from disbelief.

Hsin Ye : (opens eyes and finds me staring at her in shock) …….OMG Nat. Did you wait really long?! Sorry I fell asleep! 

Nat : (gasp) Wh…at?

Hsin Ye : I even had a dream! Sorry! Did you wait very long?!

OMG THIS GIRL ACTUALLY FELL ASLEEEP. The worst part was that I wasn’t even the one talking. SHE WAS THE ONE WHO WAS DOING THE TALKING BEFORE SHE  SLEPT! To add to the disbelief she wasn’t even gradually softening down – it was almost like a sudden system shut down.

I cracked out into a huge laughter so loud that Ginny who already fell asleep woke up. I tried holding it in but I just couldn’t! It was TOO hilarious!

“Piau, do the Bollywood thing!”

This is Piau taking a photo of me taking a photo of him while Ginny was taking a photo of us taking a photo of each other. This is true photoception pfft.

Feels like a photo of a loyal dog with his endearing owner, don’t you think!

Manja knows how to appreciate sunset more than we do. Both of us were looking at somewhere else.

Time for dinner!

That’s about it from the trip! Hope you liked the batch of photos and would even pay a trip there yourself. It really is the best beach I have been to so far, and if I hadn’t a slight phobia for loud waves and sea animals I would’ve totally loved the trip more since I would have went snorkeling.

Till I write again!